Chris Williams – Candidate for City Council
Born in Saskatchewan, his father was member of the RCMP and his mother an educator, Chris started giving back to the community in his teen years as a volunteer. This included working at his local hospital, working with the Saskatchewan Association for Community Living and as the youth representative on a Sask. District Economic Development Committee. Chris’ community work resulted in being awarded the Saskatchewan Junior Citizen of the Year Award in 1989 and the Terry Fox Humanitarian Award Scholarship in 1991. After high school Chris attended the University of Saskatchewan for a brief period before moving to Surrey, British Columbia where he studied criminology at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. While attending KPU Chris started working for the RCMP as a civilian employee at Surrey Detachment where he held positions as the Surrey RCMP Victim Services Resource Directory Coordinator, a jail guard and in fleet management.
A Kelowna resident since 2012, Chris retired from the RCMP in 2019. He has a broad range of law enforcement as well as additional expertise in high-risk areas. Chris played a key role in the established of Kelowna’s Special Enforcement Team, a specialized unit targeting high risk and prolific criminality that posed a threat to community safety. In 2014-2015 Chris was assigned to ‘Project Seahorse’ where he represented the Canadian Government combatting human smuggling and other transnational crime originating and transiting from Southeast Asia. In addition to working overseas Chris has worked in Alta., Sask., Man., Ont., Que., the YT, NWT and NVT. Chris has subject matter expertise as a police K9 handler and in the areas of first nations policing, drug enforcement, surveillance, covert operations, and prolific offender targeting and has instructed at the RCMP Pacific Region Training Centre in Chilliwack, the Canadian Police College in Ottawa and the Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Training in Semarang, Indonesia. Chris was nominated for Surrey Police Officer of the Year and led a team that was awarded an International Chief’s of Police Award in New Orleans, Louisiana. Prior to retiring in 2019 Chris was the recipient of the RCMP Long Service Medal. Serving Canada at local, provincial, national and international levels for over two decades exposed Chris to working with a variety of stakeholders including police boards, community consultative groups, first nations band, NGO’s, and a variety of other public and private partners. Chris has worked very effectively with both foreign and domestic government agencies and partners to tackle major issues that affect us all.
Chris is ready to tackle the crime escalation, the opioid crisis and homeless issues that face Kelowna. His background makes him the ideal candidate to address our crime issues. Not only does he know how to think outside the box to get results, he is committed to bringing innovative short and long-term actionable solutions that will ensure public safety, security and stability for all residents. Chris believes the time has come for a new city council with representation that can effectively contribute to solving these complex problems. Chris Williams will stand up for all people of this city and believes that now is the time for constructive changes that will protect the future of our beautiful city with an emphasis on transparency, accountability and honesty.
Sacheen Collecutt – Candidate for City Council
BC born and raised, a Kelowna resident for 16 years. Trained as a Mental Health professional advocating for the vulnerable at risk population; mental illness, homelessness and addiction. Having numerous roles over the years with Crossroads, John Howard Society, NOW Canada, Access Resources, OMHSS, and Canadian Mental Health Association. With my hands-on experience I have grown to understand that our present system is lacking in foresight and leadership requiring our immediate attention and support from our community.
Mental Health issues contribute largely to the escalation in crime which is typically an indication of deeper problems within the community and “the symptom” that presents as crime will continue to increase if ignored. Police, fire, ambulance and medical professionals are trained for everyday emergency response, heart attacks, strokes, physical injuries etc. yet regrettably we have chosen to treat mental illness in the same way, which places an inordinate strain on emergency services and for the individuals in a mental crisis.
Many Kelowna residents post pandemic find themselves existing in a survival mode, fearing for the safety of their loved ones and fearing for their future, this is highly destructive to the nervous system and scientifically proven to present long term physical and mental health issues. The ripple effect of these stressors trickles down affecting the community by increasing poverty, homelessness, health and addictions. What we’re doing now does not work, in fact it has resulted in significantly more deaths and suffering, We can no longer afford to keep turning a blind eye, effective programs and support are desperately needed for those suffering with mental health issues.
I am confident that my experience and solutions for productive and effective change will provide much needed hope and assistance for those who are in desperate need our help. I would truly appreciate your vote for city council, together we can and we will make a difference.